Born in Normandy in 1810, Ferdinand Barbedienne (d. 1892) began his Parisian foundry in 1839, eventually becoming one of the most active and distinguished bronziers of the 19th century. The Barbedienne workshops specialised in bronzes but also created a few pieces of furniture, including pieces for the 1855 and 1878 Paris exhibitions. It is believed that Barbedienne did not have his own atelier d'ébénisterie and therefore commissioned furniture to be made by an outside workshop. He would then embellish these with bronze mounts of his own production, as on the present cabinets which date to after Ferdinand Barbedienne's death when the firm was taken over by over by his nephew, Leblanc-Barbedienne, continuing production until 1953. The present bronzes are known as bronze grotte which means they have a 'weathered rock' appearance.